40th Anniversary of IVF Success

National Fertility Awareness Week 30 Oct -5 Nov 2017

On 10 November 1977, IVF worked and nine months later Louise Joy Brown – the world’s first IVF baby – was born. Since then more than a quarter of a million UK babies have been born via IVF.

As part of this year’s National Fertility Awareness Week 30 Oct – 5 Nov, Fertility Network UK is commemorating 40 years of IVF by revealing what IVF means to the 1 in 6 couples whose lives have been affected by it – for better and for worse.

‘IVF gave me my world.’

‘IVF ruined my life, my marriage, I’m over the fact I’ll never have children but I’m still angry, resentful and bitter… every day I wonder what if… why me???’

‘Wish I could afford IVF, nearly 40 and TTC for nearly 15 years; feels like my dream will never come true.’

‘So glad we kept going: 3 rounds and we were only given a 10% chance. Due in February.’

‘IVF was the worst thing I have ever put my family through for absolutely nothing but heartbreak.’

During the week we’ll also be revealing the best and worst places to live in the UK if you’re hoping to access NHS IVF (30 Oct); the first ever qualitative survey of men’s experiences of infertility (1 Nov); plus advice on fertility etiquette: what to say, what not to say and how best to support anyone experiencing fertility issues (2 Nov).

Susan Seenan, chief executive of Fertility Network UK said: ‘The focus of National Fertility Awareness Week is threefold: to get the message out regarding fertility issues; both the prevalence and how people are affected. We aim to challenge perceptions of infertility too and, very importantly, provide support for anyone struggling with fertility problems; you are not alone, we are here to help.

‘This year is a deeply significant one as we commemorate 40 years of IVF – celebrating the babies born as a result of this life-changing technology, and remembering everyone whom IVF could not help. We are focusing on men and their experience of infertility because all too often they are left out of the fertility equation, despite being very much half of it. We are also highlighting how inequitable access to NHS fertility treatment is in the UK. Sadly, for many, it is your postcode and your pay packet, and not your medical need, which are now the key determinants of whether you will be able to try IVF.’

Award-winning all-female trio The Beatrix Players are working with Fertility Network during National Fertility Awareness Week and are available for interviews and to perform. The group’s recently released single All That Thinking is a song about the difficulty of having a child and the blame that goes on between partners.

Commenting on her experience of fertility difficulties, Beatrix Players’ vocalist and songwriter Amy Birks said: ‘I hope that All That Thinking helps in some way to lift the lid on a subject that is so often hushed into embarrassment, a subject that causes conflict and so much pain, where you feel totally alone, but as I say each time before I sing this song; All That Thinking is for anyone that has suffered. It is for the 1 in 6.’

View the video for All That Thinking, produced in association with Fertility Network UK, at https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6K-j3couHZYZHg0Ukc0bUhzaDg/view

National Fertility Awareness Week: providing support, improving awareness, raising funds and changing perceptions